restaurant review

tearooms at vaucluse house: review

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Nestled in the lush, green gardens of Vaucluse House is the Tearooms.  The quaint and stylish eatery on the estate provides a tranquil setting to enjoy a lovely lunch, brunch or high tea.

Seeing as we were in the “neighbourhood” following our climb of 100 steps up then down in Macquarie Lighthouse (which really is hardly anything), we were famished for a hearty lunch.

Upon arriving at the Tearooms, the staff politely and promptly greeted and seated us. We couldn’t help but admire the layout of the room and the table settings. What stood out were the fluorescent pink light shades above the tables – definitely didn’t blend with the rest of the room but somehow seemed to work!

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We ordered right on midday which was when the lunch kitchen opens and the food arrived fairly quickly.

The lunch menu wasn’t expansive but there was enough variety to choose from. Le chose the vegetarian pasta: fettucine with mushrooms and artichoke. It was full of flavour and the pasta was cooked perfectly. The portobello mushrooms were so juicy and flavoursome.

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David ordered a 10-hour slow cooked lamb pie which was served with potato puree with roast parsnips. The potato puree was more like mashed potatoes and the roast parsnips were like hot chips (and we are NOT complaining). It was all delicious. In comparison, David’s lunch was a lot heavier than Le’s.

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The rest of the party that joined us for lunch were all very satisfied with what they ordered.

A beef burger:

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Fish and chips with pea mash:

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Atlantic salmon:

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The serving sizes were ideal for lunch and filled us up perfectly – the only shame was that we couldn’t try any of the dessert menu 😦

While we enjoyed our lunch, a group of ladies sitting nearby were having high tea… we couldn’t help but get a little food envy!

Missing out on dessert and high tea was too much for us, so we settled our bill and went to burn off lunch by walking around the well-kept grounds of the estate.

This is definitely a lovely spot on a beautiful day to eat and explore a part of Sydney’s history. Visiting here made us feel like we had a “little getaway” from the hustle bustle of Sydney.

 

 

 

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a swiss folklore experience in lucerne

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“Off-the-beaten-track” is a commonly used phrase when it comes to travel writing. While, “tourist trap” places are often shunned by travellers because it is gimmicky, tacky, overrated and usually overpriced. Then comes the debate about tourist VS travellers etc etc etc.

But this post isn’t going to be one of them, we won’t be going into any persuasive writing piece about what is right or wrong. We just want to share our experiences at what some might call a “tourist trap” while others might call a fun experience. (We are the latter, in case you were wondering).

There we were in Lucerne, and the weather turned UGLY. The winds were blowing, the grey clouds were looming and the raindrops were appearing. And our stomachs were growling because it was lunchtime.

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Scurrying through the streets in not enough layers with temperatures in the low teens. We desperately wanted to find somewhere to eat. Like a sign sent from… somewhere, we turn the corner and feast our eyes on Stadtkellar; a traditional Swiss restaurant with a four-course meal and a cultural show about to start. See? It was meant to be!

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As we walk in, we were the only patrons under the age of 40 and we were the only two that were not there as part of a tour group – we were entering willingly 😉

Our first course was a Swiss cheese fondue followed by a garden salad. Our main was the choice between strips of veal in mushroom sauce or a homemade sausage, both came with a side of rosti. To wind up the feast, we were served a neringue with applesauce and strawberry ice cream.

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The food was delicious, might we add. Especially the fondue…. we usually try to avoid eating too much bread, but in this instance… the basket was emptied VERY quickly!

While we satisfied our bellies with some traditional Swiss food, we were entertained with folk music, yodelling, alphorn blowing, flag throwing and cowbells. All of these performed  by an ensemble of 6.IMG_4012IMG_4020Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 7.52.43 pm

Much to our amazement, one of the performers was particularly talented – he was able to make music from slapping the backs of two wooden spoons together which we’ve seen before. What had us in awe was how he produced music from what looked like a double-handled tree saw …

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 7.53.41 pmAnd percussion music with a wooden broomstick.

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Of course, we couldn’t forget the random cow that was released into the audience towards the end. We are still scratching our heads over the purpose of this….

IMG_4040It was a fabulous way for us to hide from the rain and the cold winds for a couple of hours so we weren’t complaining.

Are you an “off-the-beaten-track” type of person? Or would you give restaurants like these a go?

Feel free to leave us a comment.